Presentation on theme: "How to write better text responses A Step by Step Guide."— Presentation transcript:
How to write better text responses A Step by Step Guide
Why do we write essays? To display an understanding of the text/film being analysed. Through use of correct writing techniques. Editing, research leading to citations (use of quotes) and proof-reading. To prove our control of the English language. Correct spelling, vocabulary and punctuation. To develop structured writing. Showing a clear beginning, middle and end that flows from one to the other.
How is an essay structured? An essay has three main parts: An Introduction A statement of your central argument (contention) and an overview of what is going to be analysed. 4 Body Paragraphs 4 specifically focused arguments that relate to your contention that evidence the text. A Conclusion A final summary of the main argument
Introductory Paragraphs The reason for an Introductory Paragraph is to give your audience (generally a teacher) some grounding as to where you stand on the argument and summarise the focus of your essay. It is also helpful to you, as it will lay the foundation of your ideas and provide a signpost for you to return to throughout your essay.
Intro: Structure Your Introductory Paragraph must have the following parts: Opening Sentence: State the text type, title and author, followed by your contention. Background: A sentence that explores the context of the question being asked. Topic Sentence Overviews: Brief summaries of the specific examples that you will be analysing to support your contention.
Body Paragraphs We use Body Paragraphs to present a more specific argument than our contention. In these focused paragraphs, your goal is to use evidence from the text to support your paragraphs argument, while remaining within the context of your contention. You will also need to support your evidence with thoroughly thought out explanations of how they support your argument. It is not enough to merely place a quote in the paragraph and expect the reader to understand.
Body: Structure You will need to use the TEEL method to structure these paragraphs: T – Topic Sentence: A focused argument based upon your contention that introduces the reader to the paragraph. E – Evidence: Incorporating quotes from the text that support your argument within a sentence or two. E – Explanation (or Evaluation): Explain how the quotes support your argument while fleshing out the ideas behind the quotes themselves. L – Link: Link the ideas to the Topic Sentence and the Contention. (Try also to allow for a smooth transition to the next paragraph).
Effective Body Paragraphs Effective Body Paragraphs will: Seamlessly transition from sentence to sentence and paragraph to paragraph. Call on a range of quotes that are both relevant and brief. (No longer than 8-12 words each) to give succinct, fluid and effective support to your argument. Display an understanding of key concepts explored in the text/film being analysed while using the vernacular of that text where appropriate.
Conclusion A conclusion is employed as a way of summing up the ideas you have considered in your response and tying them together. No new ideas should be investigated in this paragraph, as it is a summation of your arguments and not a time for further analysis.
Conclusion: Structure Refer back to the Contention. Tie together the concepts behind your Body Paragraphs. Finish on a strong statement that encapsulates your argument while still alluding to the text.
Essay Pointers Remain focused throughout the essay and constantly check to see that you are not going off on a tangent. Avoid the use of “I”, “my”, “we” or any other form of personal pronoun. A skilled writer will be able to get across their opinion without the use of these words. If it makes sense to explain the quote first then do it. There is no “hard and fast” rule about using the Es in TEEL in the order stated, though be careful that the Evidence has been Explained.
Essay Pointers (cont.) Avoid retelling the story. While it is at times necessary to provide context (probably no longer than a sentence), it can be assumed that your reader has a thorough knowledge of what you are writing about. Stick to one central idea per paragraph in order for the piece to flow and not become bogged down. It is better to be simple and clear than try too clever and muddled.
Step One: Read the question It is important to fully understand the question before proceeding any further. You will need to know ‘what’ you are being asked to analyse and ‘how’ you will go about this. You can also see if there is any “signposted” information. This is information in the prompt/question that hints toward who or what you will need to analyse.
Step Two: Identify Key Terms Once you understand what the question is asking, you will need to highlight or underline the key terms in the prompt/question. These words should be clear to identify as they will be words that are specific to the topic being researched.
Step Two: Identify Key Terms (cont) Sample Prompt From “I, Robot” While Sonny may appear to be a robot, he shares many human characteristics. Can Sonny be called “human”? Discuss. There are some words in this prompt that stand out as language that is specific to the movie and themes surrounding it. Also, has there been any hints as to how this question could be answered?
Step 3: Finding Synonyms Once you have underlined the key terminologies (like the example below), you will need to find synonyms Synonyms are words that have similar, though not always the same, meanings. eg. Big = large, enormous, gargantuan, verbose, vast gigantic. The reason you need to do this is so that you do not constantly repeat the same words and phrases, as this leads to boring essays that do not show off your vocabulary skills. While Sonny may appear to be a robot, he shares many human characteristics. Can Sonny be called “human”? Discuss
Step 3: Finding Synonyms (cont) While Sonny may appear to be a robot, he shares many human characteristics. Can Sonny be called “human”? Discuss Appear – Look, resemble, give the impression, be seen as. Robot – Machine, android, device, contraption, gadget, tool. You get the idea!!
Step 4: Write your contention Use the synonyms to create a sentence out of the prompt that is specific to your argument. While Sonny may appear to be a robot, he shares many human characteristics. Can Sonny be called “human”? Discuss Sonny is human (affirmative answer to the prompt) While Sonny has the outward resemblance of a machine, his individual tendencies and emotions are nothing short of human. Sonny is not human (negative answer to the prompt) While Sonny shares some human qualities.